So I sold off my Panasonic G7 and got a G85 instead...

Although I didn't slam it too badly in my official Panasonic G7 review, there was something about it that wasn't a good fit for me. I did have some trouble with a few soft shots due to shutter shock, and the lack of in-body stabilization was a bigger deal to me than I realized.

So I sold it and replaced it with the G85. The G85 has very similar specifications, sharing a similar sized body, the same 16 megapixel 4/3 sensor, and control locations. However, it's astounding how much different the camera itself feels - much more solid and refined. Controls like the AFS/AFC/MF switch are much stronger feeling and less finicky, and give me the impression it will last longer. Weather sealing is a welcome addition, and it is paired with a similarly sealed 12-60mm kit lens which offers both better stabilization and more reach than the 14-42mm in the G7's kit. It also has an in-body sensor stabilization feature that interacts with the 2-axis optical stabilizer in some Panasonic lenses to offer a pretty hefty advantage in video stability.

I really put the weather sealing to the test at Niagra Falls "hurricane deck."

I really put the weather sealing to the test at Niagra Falls "hurricane deck."

For stills, the new shutter mechanism is much quieter and has less vibration - I haven't noticed any of the shutter-shock blur like I did on some images from my G7. The new 12-60mm kit lens also seems sharper and cleaner at the same focal lengths as the old 14-42 lens I had, and that extra reach on either end is very useful. Of course, this body is compatible with my other micro 4/3 lenses, and makes for a great little kit when paired with the 17mm 1.8 or 25mm 1.8 Olympus lenses.

All in all, a solid upgrade to the G7, though for a budget shooter who doesn't necessarily need the weather sealing, larger kit lens, or other minor features it may be worth waiting a generation - I'd anticipate the G85's successor to have the 20 megapixel sensor and a number of other features trickled down from the superb GH5.